Isaiah Prince

2020 NFL Opt Out Tracker

Per an agreement between the NFL and the NFLPA, players with COVID-19 health concerns can opt out of the 2020 season. Initially, the deadline was believed to be Tuesday, August 4. Talks between the league and the union have pushed it to August 6.

Chiefs guard and medical school graduate Laurent Duvernay-Tardif was the first player to officially opt out. Scores of players followed.

Here’s the rundown, so far:

Baltimore Ravens

Buffalo Bills

Carolina Panthers

Chicago Bears

Cincinnati Bengals

Cleveland Browns

Dallas Cowboys

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Kansas City Chiefs

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Rams

Miami Dolphins

Minnesota Vikings

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

New York Giants

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

  • T Brad Seaton

Tennessee Titans

  • OL Anthony McKinney

Washington Football Team

Free agents

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Bengals’ DT Josh Tupou Opts Out

Bengals nose tackle Josh Tupou will opt out of the 2020 season, sources tell Tom Pelissero of NFL.com (on Twitter). On the other side of the ball, offensive tackle Isaiah Prince has also chosen to sit out, per a club announcement.

Tupou appeared in all 16 of the Bengals’ games last year, including seven starts. This year, the Bengals were counting on him to once again serve as a key rotation piece behind defensive tackles Geno Atkins and D.J. Reader. They’re looking thin without him, especially after releasing Ryan Glasgow earlier this week. Tupou was set to earn $2.133MM in 2020. Now, that salary will be pushed into 2021 as his contract tolls.

Tupou and Prince are the first Bengals players to opt out of the season. In total, 30+ players have decided against playing, and many of those players are linemen. Given their body mass and the higher risk factor, that’s not a huge surprise. On the defensive side, Tupou joins a list that includes Eddie Goldman, Michael Pierce, Star Lotulelei, Kyle PekoEddie Vanderdoes, and John Atkins.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Bengals Place KR Brandon Wilson On IR

Little has gone right for the 1-11 Bengals, but they do employ the NFL’s leading kick returner. They will finish the season without Brandon Wilson, however.

The Bengals placed their impact return man on IR, clearing a roster spot for tackle Isaiah Prince. The Bengals used their top spot in the waiver priority to claim the former Dolphins blocker.

Wilson’s 31.3-yard kick-return average tops all of this season’s return men. A 91-yard touchdown return against the Ravens boosted this figure, but the Bengals will have to make new arrangements at kick returner going forward. The defensive back/returner is dealing with a hand injury and went through the interesting succession of limited practice-full practice-DNP this week. A 2017 sixth-round pick, Wilson can be controlled next year via RFA tender.

Prince started two Dolphins games in October and played in four overall. The Dolphins drafted him in the sixth round this year and will no longer oversee his development. The Bengals now hold Prince’s through-2022 contract.

Minor NFL Transactions: 12/5/19

Today’s minor moves:

Carolina Panthers

Jacksonville Jaguars

Miami Dolphins

AFC East Notes: Patriots, Bell, Dolphins

Add the Patriots to the list of teams who were high on promising Redskins wideout Terry McLaurin. In addition to the Raiders, the Patriots were intrigued by the Ohio State alum, Mike Reiss of ESPN.com notes. The Pats considered McLaurin with the No. 73 pick but instead dealt the selection to the Bears in exchange for a 2020 fourth-round choice and drafted Damien Harris at No. 87. Washington nabbed McLaurin at No. 76, and he’s become the team’s top wideout. Part of the reason the Patriots sought the ex-Buckeye was his potential for special teams work, responsibilities he might not become too familiar with due to his high-value role in Washington.

Here’s the Week 6 latest out of the AFC East, moving from one might-have-been Patriot to one of the longest-tenured players in franchise history:

  • Stephen Gostkowski is under contract through the 2020 season, but with his salary rising from $1.1MM to $3.5MM, Reiss adds that the Patriots will examine that figure and determine if it’s worth it to bring the veteran back. The team also stands to look at other options in the draft. The Pats have not drafted a kicker since taking Gostkowski in the 2006 fourth round. New England made a change at punter this year, moving from longtime incumbent Ryan Allen to fifth-round rookie Jake Bailey. Gostkowski will be recovering from hip surgery but would surely generate interest elsewhere if the Patriots jettison him.
  • Le’Veon Bell‘s 2018 absence stemmed largely from fear the Steelers would continue to overwork him and thus diminish his value on the 2019 market. Bell is on pace for 299 carries, which would be his second-highest single-season total. However, now that he’s secured $28MM in guarantees, the Jets starter is not worried about workload issues, per Rich Cimini of ESPN.com. Bell is averaging just 2.9 yards per carry on a shaky Jets offense.
  • Do not look for the 0-4 Dolphins to cut Josh Rosen‘s audition short. Brian Flores said (via the Miami Herald’s Armando Salguero, on Twitter) his quarterback situation is “settled” for the rest of 2019, with Rosen set to keep the job that once belonged to Ryan Fitzpatrick. Rosen played well in the first half against the Chargers, and even though the Dolphins have been outscored 81-0 in four second halves this season, the 2018 No. 10 overall pick does not have to worry about looking over his shoulder.
  • It does not sound like one of Rosen’s former Cardinals teammates, Robert Nkemdiche, is ready to return from the Dolphins’ PUP list. But Miami DC Patrick Graham expects the defensive tackle to be back on the field by early November, according to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald. Nkemdiche’s 2018 season ended because of an ACL tear.
  • Look for running back Mark Walton and tackle Isaiah Prince to see more time for the rebuilding Dolphins soon, with Jackson noting Miami’s staff wants to integrate Walton into its Kenyan DrakeKalen Ballage rotation and was impressed by some of Prince’s Week 4 start against the Chargers. While Jesse Davis is back at practice this week after missing the Bolts game, pointing to his return at left tackle, the Dolphins figure to get Prince — a sixth-round rookie — plenty of reps this season on the right side as they continue in evaluation mode.

Dolphins Sign Christian Wilkins, Two Other Draft Picks

The Dolphins have signed first-round defensive tackle Christian Wilkins, fifth-round linebacker Andrew Van Ginkel, and sixth-round offensive tackle Isaiah Prince, the club announced today.

Entering a rebuild phase, Miami could have gone in any number of directions with the 13th overall pick. Some observers had the Dolphins pegged as landing spot for a first-round quarterback, but the club passed on Dwayne Haskins in order to land Wilkins. A high-effort player from Clemson’s fearsome defensive line, Wilkins brings excellent character to a Dolphins locker room that’s attempting to modify its culture.

Wilkins should see ample playing time during his rookie campaign, and Prince might, as well. The Dolphins’ offensive line performed like one of the worst units in the league last season, and their right tackle spot is currently manned by Zach Sterup. Prince should a decent chance at beating him put for the starting role.

Third-round guard Michael Deiter is now the only Miami draft pick left unsigned.